Author Tim Wise will speak at a lunch event Jan. 17 at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 1000 E. Morehead Street. The event is open to the public, with lunch available for $6; email firstname.lastname@example.org by tomorrow (Jan. 9) to save a spot. Trinity Episcopal School, 750 E. Ninth St., is also hosting a free event with Wise at 7 p.m. Jan. 17; RSVP at this link.
To back up a bit: Mecklenburg Ministries, an interfaith alliance, has been bringing white clergy together for eight-week study groups to talk about how their race and often-unnoticed privilege affect their own spiritual lives and that of their congregations. Some corporate and lay people have also taken part, but religious leaders have been the target audience, says Executive Director Maria Hanlin.
This effort hasn't been as visible as the group's other "Souls of ..." projects, including "Souls of Our Teachers" and "Souls of Our Students." But Wise's talk is designed to bring the discussion into the broader community -- something that meshes well with similar talk in CMS.
I haven't read Wise's book, but Amazon describes it as "a personal examination of the way in which racial privilege shapes the daily lives of white Americans in every realm: employment, education, housing, criminal justice, and elsewhere. ... He explores the ways in which whites can challenge their unjust privileges, and explains in clear and convincing language why it is in the best interest of whites themselves to do so."
At the Mecklenburg Ministries lunch, Wise is scheduled to talk about racial disparities in schools, communities and houses of worship and suggest ways to challenge institutional racism and privilege. "The public is invited to understand the impact of racism on their lives and in our cities, no matter what their skin color, and then work together to dismantle racism in our community," Hanlin said.